Category Archives: Wallpapers

A ‘It Features in My Book’ Wallpaper: Fictional Village of Brambledown

When I posted the first ‘It Features in My Book’ Wallpaper, I hadn’t planned to produce a sequel – of sorts; but nosing through my collection of digital photos, I found more that feature locations (from my recollections during childhood) that inspired scenes in this book…

Here is a shot that includes a part of the fictional village of Brambledown…

…which I thought made a nice wallpaper. But whilst I was bending myself to the task, I fiddled with a shot that features a location that is included in a specific scene from the book, which I present here as an extract. The locale has changed considerably since the sixties (the period from which I drew my imagery); but the general lie of the land remains pretty much as it was. The sunken lane highlighted here, featured in the first post.

An extract from Silent Apocalypse…

Since I was not present, the following part of this narrative must be second hand. It was related to me at a later date.

Night had fallen. Four teenaged girls, one of whom was Katherine Kingsbury – sister to Tom, and school friend of mine – huddled together in a thicket that grew upon the hillside that overlooked the village. They’d been abducted during the Wiltshire Rifles’ first foray into Brambledown. They rejoiced in the fact that they’d not been joined by others, but were greatly concerned about the villager’s welfare. As of yet they were unhurt and unsullied. None of them imagined the situation would remain that way forever. Katherine, bound at hand and foot, stared at the one young Rifleman left to guard them. What she hoped to accomplish she didn’t know, but if it made him feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable, then it was worth the effort. And she was pretty certain she was having some effect. Eventually he turned angrily toward her.

“Will you stop that?” He snapped.

“Will you set me free?” She returned his outburst.

He took a step toward her. “I’ll tell you what I will do…”

“Rifleman!” The voice of the Lance Corporal erupted from the surrounding shadows, “Remain at your post.”

The Rifleman threw Katherine a glance of menace, and resumed his watching of the village through the thicket. He spoke to the Lance Corporal, who had come to check the girl’s condition:

“Any chance of action tonight, Corp?”

The Lance Corporal glanced at the girl’s bonds before returning his attention to the Rifleman. “For you – or the unit in general?”

“Both.”

“No – and yes – in that order.”

The Rifleman’s whining voice betrayed his youth: “Oh, but Corp, I missed out last night too.”

The Lance Corporal was unmoved. “Tough. Shouldn’t be such a prat then, should you? Tell you what: next time we need a complete louse-up, we’ll call for you. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled.”

“Thanks very much.” The Rifleman managed. “So we’re going in again tonight?”

The Lance Corporal was already departing. “If my plan’s gonna succeed, we have to. We have to keep ‘going in’ until there’s either no womenfolk left in the village, or we’re all dead. Whichever way it turns out, we are not leaving here empty handed. You got that?”

Katherine heard these words, and shuddered.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

As far as I know, this e-book remains available at several outlets, some of which are included on the sidebar via the book cover images, or on the Tooty’s E-Books Available To Buy Here page. And very nice it is too – if you enjoy genocide and disaster.

Wallpaper 639: The Breakfast Sentinel

Every morning, before breakfast, I shuffle to my garden shed to feed the wild birds in my garden. The first to arrive is Jacques, the Robin, who flutters in front of me like an inebriated humming bird, demanding access to perch upon my hand and pick through the tit-bits I have for him. Then, as I emerge fully, and begin to place the food upon the various feeders in my quince tree, the resident crow  starts calling to the other birds  from my roof – announcing that breakfast is served… 

Why it has taken on this role, I have no idea: but the pigeons and jackdaws seem particularly pleased that it has.

 

Country Life Wallpaper: The Lab Chase

Here, a huge hulking male Labrador chases it’s playful offspring…

Later I met with them, and the youngster’s mother. Being Labs, of course they were kind and gentle. Well the mother and son were. The father ambled up to me with his tongue lolling and his jaws agape; mis-judged his speed, and nearly took my patella off.

P.S If you look carefully at the centre of the upper half of the picture, you will note a blue portable toilet. Just for the record: I didn’t use it.

Nature Wallpapers: Listen and Survive / Going Hungry

Whilst out and about in the Hampshire countryside, I chanced upon a common, everyday encounter between two disparate (but linked) species. It ended well for one of them, and gave me a couple of nice wallpaper shots….

I know I shouldn’t have, but I could help myself from giving the rabbit an edge.  I gave the fox a cheery wave.

Everyday Objects Make Excellent Science-Fiction Wallpapers

My ancient Sony Cybershot DSC-P10 dates from 2002. I don’t use it much, but I think it had a hard life in the hands of a construction site engineer before I liberated it. As a consequence it can misbehave slightly – like not switching on when I want to use it. On this occasion I thought it likely that the battery might not be carrying  enough charge to fire it up, so I plugged the camera into the charger and tried again. It worked. By chance the lens happened to be pointing in the direction of a half-full water bottle. So, to test that all was well, I snapped a few point-blank close-ups. When I saw the resulting pictures, the ‘artistic genius’ (weird sci-fi guy) within me saw the possibilities. So I tossed a new (and exciting) smoke alarm on to the bed and snapped some pictures of that. The result is…

What the two saucers are about to do to the domed city upon an airless planet, I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they appear in a future Earplug Adventure!

A Strange Philosophical Juxtaposition

Whilst walking through a local churchyard recently, I chanced upon this scene…

How the dice got there, I have no idea. It has been pretty windy lately, so it might have blown in from an adjacent garden. But, whatever, the significance struck me immediately. Every day we roll the dice. Life, after all, is a gamble. Nothing is certain – except for one thing. Ultimately, in the end, when the big screen of existence reads ‘Game Over’, we’re all winners. For having lived at all; for having become the person we are; and for moving on to something better.

Wallpaper 636: Half-Price Mountain Biking

Or circus performers on their day off…

Slippery downhills must be a bit of a bugger on these. But they take up so little room in the back of a car. Almost makes sense – until you look at the level of protection the riders are wearing. Falling off must be par for the course. And look at the padding in the back of their trousers: possibly unpleasant for arse holes too. I imagine the young lady’s back-pack is smaller because she doesn’t need to carry balms and ointments for swollen testicles.

Tooty the Chef: Remember Him?

Does this ugly mug look familiar?

The apron seems to have gone Absent With Out Leave, and the hat looks decidedly kitchen drawer-worn; but, yes, it’s Tooty the Chef. And look, he’s set the counter top with some ingredients…

Hmmm, let’s see what he’s prepared for his latest fabulous gastronomic concoction. Well inspiration came when his local Waitrose offered a pair of leeks at a reduced price – due to their age and less-than-pristine condition. Instantly his fertile mind slipped into high gear and he began to imagine what could be done with half a jar of macaroni; the dregs inside a bag of grated cheese; and some bacon medallions that had been sitting at the bottom of the fridge for three weeks. Well it was obvious really: macaroni/leek/bacon cheese! So whilst he boiled the macaroni and steamed the leeks…

…he lay the bacon (and some sliced peppers) on some olive oil in his famous Roasting Thing…

…and waited. When, eventually, the macaroni was sufficiently softened, and the leeks appeared most-way cooked, he stirred them together with some cheese sauce. Then it was simply a matter of pouring the goo on top of the bacon/peppers combo; then scattering the grated cheese on top of the lot…

…and shoving it in the maxxed-out oven (of course), This was followed by some sodding about for twenty-five minutes, until the meal was cooked good and proper…

Yep, despite all his frailties, the culinary cretin is back…

And this time he’s keeping his buttocks to himself!

Earplug Adventures Spaceship Wallpaper: Departure

I like creating spaceship wallpapers – usually out of everyday objects and civilisation’s flotsam. Sometimes it takes a while before I write a story that might include the resulting picture. Or maybe I’ll never write one at all. Whatever, the picture’s quite nice in itself. And you can always imagine a story for yourself.

Here, Folie Krimp and Placebo Bison (remember them?) pilot the Gravity Whelk as it departs a vast space station at the edge of a distant nebula.

Equine Wallpaper: The Horse That Talks With Trees

It was doing precisley this when I arrived; whilst I watched it for a couple of minutes; during the time it took to get out my camera and shoot this picture; and when I was leaving. Very single-minded critter, obviously. But if you take a look at the Flickr version of this, and zoom in, you’ll notice an eye looking sidelong at me. It knew I was there: it just didn’t care. Guess it likes the strong silent types.

Photography: Which Camera? And Does It Matter?

I always seem to have at least one camera about my person; usually more. Today I picked up four compacts to take with me on my daily ‘keep fit’ walk around the village. By sheer random chance I selected a 7.2 megapixel Casio EX-Z11 with a X3 zoom: a 14.2 megapixel Samsung ES74 with a X5 zoom; a whopping 16 megapixel Fujifilm T400 with a X10 zoom; and one of my favourites – a 9.3 megapixel Ricoh CX-2 with a X10.7 zoom. There wasn’t a whole bunch of interesting stuff to snap, so all four remained unsullied inside my jacket pockets for most of the rural sojourn – until I passed through the church car park, in which I discovered a car that had been aesthetically parked. When I say ‘aesthetically parked’, I actually mean that the driver had simply stopped and got out. It was the colour and the shape of the car that was truely aesthetic to my ageing eyes. It looked so gorgeous in the afternoon sun that I decided to take its photograph… four times – once with each camera. I knew, assuming that the autofocus worked properly, that it would result in four excellent pictures, irrespective of camera quality. But it would also be vaguely interesting to discover which camera captured the vehicle’s scrumptiousness best.  Which would prove most beneficial – aesthetically: megapixel count or zoom length? Or a combination? Let’s see, eh?

Casio EX-Z11 – x3 zoom
Samsung ES74 – x5 zoom
Fujifilm T400 – zoomed out to roughly x8-ish

As you can see, the Beemer looks great no matter what camera I used. It is just fabulous. But I saved the best til last. With the Ricoh CX-2 also zoomed out to about x8-ish, it wasn’t the megapixel count that mattered, and obviously not the zoom either because I didn’t want to go in any closer than I did with the Fijifilm. It was the quality of the camera lens. Regardez vous…

Nice car: nice camera: nice wallpaper. Now I know why it’s my favourite compact.

P.S Almost unheard of, but every camera had a memory card inside it, and no drained batteries. Sheer luck: I hadn’t stopped to check any of them. Wonders will never cease.

Making Art Out of Doo-Dahs and Thingamabobs 2: A Trifling Matter

Oh, look, it’s that shampoo bottle submarine space freighter again. This time it appears to be sweeping majestically across the surface of a small, frozen moon…

But it’s not, of course. It is, in fact, sweeping  majestically across the surface of a sherry trifle, before the glace cherries are added…